Why Art Matters

‘Why Art Matters’ is a series of accredited art workshops for young people, aimed at enhancing their confidence through self expression; building upon their ability to communicate and express their ideas in a supportive environment. Sessions include meditation, wellbeing exercises and art debates. The tutor encourages self-directed learning and pupils are given space to explore their curiosity and creativity in a studio packed full of fantastic resources. 

Why Art Matters is currently funded by Children in Need, NBC and the Gipsy Hill Federation, previously by the Walcot Foundation.

Course Overview: 

  • A ten week course, two hours a week. This includes a Saturday gallery visit to the Tate Britain for children and their families. 
  • In the first seven weeks the children are introduced to a different art discipline each session. For the final three sessions each child can choose which art medium they would like to focus. 
  • Students produce a final product to be shown for either an exhibition, market stall or collective community piece.
  • Ideas are recorded in a log book. These log books are assessed by the tutors and external Arts Award moderation. 
  • Emphasis on critical thinking and learning through debate on art subjects – Focus on family involvement. 


Cost per student: £297.90 (minimum 12 pupils per course.) 

Cost per course : £3575 (Based on school providing a teaching assistant.) 


“I love coming to the Art4Space studio, I lose myself in all the creativity and art materials

and my world feels ok again”  Precious, age 10.


Parents Comments

“I just wanted to write to say how much my son is getting out of the Why Art Matters project.

My son greatly benefits from spending time in smaller groups and has really grown in confidence with how to express his ideas.”

“At the gallery session there was a family on the trip who speak very little English and who have never spoken to me before and now they always say hello and it feels like we shared something special together, which is lovely.”

“He leaps out of bed on a Thursday morning (the day he has Why Art Matters) and talks about it all the time – which materials he will be using, which ones he likes working with, what he wants to do next, and most recently about the certificate that he’ll be getting, which he’s really chuffed about.”

“I didn’t think galleries could be so fun, I will definitely be taking my child again.”

Some words from our teachers:

“The WAM (Why Art Matters) organised and taught by Art4Space ​has been beneficial to our

eight schools across the Gipsy Hill Federation. Children were chosen for reasons of

celebrating their talent in art, nurture for those who need some emotional support

and for providing a means of confidence boosting. The children involved speak positively of

their experiences with Julie Norburn and her team, as well as providing some beautiful

works of art, in different forms such as clay, sculpture and mosaics, which the children take

great pride in. The children gain confidence through being challenged creatively in an

environment that supports and encourages artist development and creativity as well as

gaining an Arts Award. The uniqueness of the project lies in its bespoke nature for each

school, celebrating the strengths of the children so that they feel proud of what they have

achieved. Finally, the WAM project is a chance for schools to show their commitment to the

arts within and outside of the curriculum.”

Philippa Lucas – Class Music Teacher (Crawford Primary School)

Lead Practitioner for Dance (Gipsy Hill and Mayflower Federations)

“These courses are stunning and proved to have impact. Self- expression nurtured and well

resourced. Every school should have access to Why Art Matters, the tutors really know

their stuff and I witnessed magical moments constantly!” Teacher


“Active participation in the arts is the key to fulfilment. These courses will enable children

and young people to share their achievement and joy in creativity. Through my experience

I know that the arts give fresh impetus – there are difficult and challenging groups of

children and young people who, by necessity need additional resources in order to

facilitate their involvement and engagement”
Elinor Seath, Business Director, Art4Space


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